Zulu Winter

Arts & Crafts Records, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


London quintet Zulu Winter has done a whole lot in a small amount of time. Though they've only been releasing music since 2011, they already have a trio of well-received singles under their belt, as well as a recent tour with Keane. Their much anticipated debut album my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Language landed just in time for summer, and has had no problem finding new fans on both sides of the Atlantic.

The band spent a full year making this disc and it shows. Zulu Winter has taken something as standard as pop rock and complemented it with ‘80s synth flourishes, reverb friendly guitars, and lively dance beats, all packaged up with some punchy indie rock vibes.

Language opens with “Key To My Heart,” a track that begins slowly with vocal effects and erupts with guitar work that would make Johnny Marr smile. “We Should Be Swimming” follows and keeps the energy flowing with a playful and wildly upbeat feel. This isn't an entirely upbeat affair, though. While the music is often animated with high energy and catchy rhythms like “Silver Tongue.” Lyrically, it's often introspective and full of contemplation. Similarly, tracks like “Moments Drift” and “Bitter Moon” radiate a more pensive tone yet are aligned with fast paced alt-rock. The band are at their best when they utilize guitars with synth, most notably on “Small Pieces,” and they're more than willing to take chances such as the cowbell, xylophone, and horns on “Let's Move Back To The Front.”

It's unavoidable you will think of Snow Patrol or Coldplay when listening to this. But I don't get the impression that Zulu Winter is trying to hide their influences or create some new sub-genre of indie rock. Instead, they pack a lot of interesting sounds and textures into these lush arrangements, allowing their swells of synth, vocal harmonies, quirky guitars, and kinetic drumming to separate themselves from the legions of similar outfits.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2012 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Arts & Crafts Records, and is used for informational purposes only.